Philadelphia Eagles Release Linebacker Will Witherspoon

Bob Cunningham@BCunningham215Senior Analyst IMarch 5, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 20:  Will Witherspoon #50 of the Philadelphia Eagles Eagles lines up against the San Francisco 49ers at Lincoln Financial Field on December 20, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

In one of the more surprising moves of the day, the Eagles have decided to part ways with linebacker Witherspoon only one season after trading for him from the St. Louis Rams.

Witherspoon came in as Stewart Bradley's replacement in the middle after Omar Gaither didn't work out, but was moved to WILL after Akeem Jordan was injured. He kept Jordan on the bench all year long while the middle was a revolving door.

While I thought Witherspoon played fairly well, the Eagles apparently did not believe he was worth the $5 million he was due in 2010. His play doesn't warrant such a high number, but his versatility, to me, would have been enough to keep him around.

This isn't the first time the Birds have done this, however. They cut ties with Takeo Spikes only one season after trading for him back in 2007. A move that, like this one, leaves fans scratching their heads.

Linebacker is a position in which the Eagles are lacking, so either way you slice it this doesn't make much sense—at least not from where I'm sitting.

I understand the money and that they really only traded for him because they had no other options once their 'backers started dropping like flies, but he was the only reason this defense didn't completely fall apart last season and, overall, was the best linebacker they had.

The Birds must figure that he becomes expendable with the return of Gaither—a guy who is just as versatile and a whole lot cheaper.

Witherspoon certainly wasn't a superstar, but he was a guy who did whatever Sean McDermott asked of him and did it well, so it's shocking and a bit disheartening to see him leave. However, he should warrant some good attention as a free agent, and might even have a shot at returning to Philly at a reduced rate.